Happy Halloween! The one night a year when it’s socially acceptable for children to come to your door and beg for candy.
This is the final installment for my Marine Corps Marathon recap. I’m not saying it’s my final post about the Marine Corps Marathon, but it does complete the day. In case you missed it, you can find my full race recap HERE and the events leading up the start line HERE.
So I had just crossed the finish line in 5:10:37, which was a 24 minute PR from my first marathon (Thunder Road) in Charlotte last year. Immediately after crossing the finish line they kept us moving, as a line of Marines shook our hands and congratulated us. We continued walking towards Iwo Jima, and then got in one of several lines to receive the coveted finisher’s medal.
It wasn’t too long a wait in the line I chose. Before I knew it, a Marine was placing the medal around my neck. He didn’t salute me, but he did say “congratulations, ma’am.” Immediately after him was an official race photographer. I saw a lot of people asking their Marine to turn around and pose with them, but mine seemed very businesslike so I left him be. I wish I had asked him to be in my picture, though!
Once I received my medal I made my way up to the Marine Corps War Memorial to get an official photo. I stood in another line, although it wasn’t that long since they had numerous spots set up.
From there I followed the masses towards what appeared to be the way out. I was ready to get off my feet and sit down. The only way out was through the food/water lines so I got in line there – I wanted some water and food anyway! They were efficiently run, but it still took a while to get through the lines. I felt alright when I was moving but anytime we stopped everything ached so much and I just wanted to sit down.
I acquired a bottle of water and a banana and a ‘snack box.’ At MCM they don’t have your typical post-race food (bagels, multiple types of fruit, pretzels, etc.). The snack box had a granola bar, a small bag of corn chips, a sample cup of white cheddar cheese, some almond snack things, fruit snacks, and a fruit cup. One thing I really appreciated was they gave us each a plastic bag for our post-race goodies. It’s really convenient to have something to put everything in, and I think it makes the line move faster. Once I got through the crowd, I had another walk (probably a bit less than half a mile) down to a predetermined meeting spot in Rosslyn to hook up with Barry and my Dad.
Can you see the massive number of people in the road behind me? It was really important for us to have a designated spot to meet, or we never would have found each other! The first thing I did when I got back was give hugs all around and show off my medal.
Next we took a few pictures together, because I knew once I sat down it was going to be awhile before I got back up.
Then I finally, finally sat down. A brick sidewalk with a metal pole to lean against never felt so good!
I sat there for a long time, and Barry and my Dad were happy to sit with me. They did over 20 miles of biking all over DC and in Virginia during the race. I picked through my snack box, eating most of it, and watched other runners shuffle by and reunite with their friends and loved ones. I think we actually sat there close to 45 minutes. And then I decided to put on my official race jacket. I was so excited to put it on. I earned that thing!
Okay, enough pictures of me. After that,
we I finally decided it was time to move. So we walked through the rest of the finish festival area on our way towards the Metro (DC’s subway system). There was an awesome band playing covers of popular rock songs. I also found free samples of pumpkin spice iced coffee and a mixed berry fruit smoothie.
The line for the Metro wrapped out of the lobby and around the side of a building. Surprisingly, it moved quickly and it didn’t take long before we were headed down to catch a train back to where we parked.
On the way home, I got a hankering for some mac and cheese from a local restaurant in the area. We stopped to pick some up and I brought it home to eat, along with a post-race “recovery beverage” in my new tumbler!
By then, it was getting later in the evening. Once we all got cleaned up we just hung out, telling old war stories from the Marine Corps Marathon around the fire.
My Dad got a kick out of how I go down stairs post-marathon (which would be backwards) because he hadn’t seen that before. The next day (Monday) I got to go out to lunch at Chipotle with my little sister for a “sister’s lunch.” I hadn’t ever eaten there before, and it was really good! Plus I had a buy one get one free coupon that I got when I picked up my bib at MCM. After that it was time to hit the road and head home.
My whole body was sore on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday it was mainly just my legs that were still sore. I’m taking the whole week off from exercise this week, and I’ll start easing back into things next week.
Overall, I think recovery is going pretty well. It’s a good thing I’m taking time off this week, or I wouldn’t have had the time to write these recaps! Kudos to you if you made it through all of them!
How do you like to celebrate after a big race?